– According to Freudian theory, the moment in a boy’s psychosexual development when he notices the girl’s lack of a penis, which he had originally attributed to everyone, and equates her lack of a penis with having been castrated, that is, having had the penis cut off. The sense of being “castrated” is a symbolic loss that has less to do with the actual fear, in the case of the male, of losing the penis, and more to do with the loss of a unified sense of identity.
The Castration Complex Term Timeline in The Feminine Mystique
The timeline below shows where the term The Castration Complex appears in The Feminine Mystique. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: The Sexual Solipsism of Sigmund Freud